For the love of chocolate – gluten-free, low carb brownies

I may not be able to sip hot chocolate at the chocolateria in San Miguel de Allende today but I can satisfy my chocolate cravings with this fabulous low-carb, gluten free brownie recipe courtesy of Bob and Kathy in Cuernavaca. Careful, they are addictive!

img_6330-qprLow Carb Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa
  • 5-6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 c flax meal
  • 1/2 cup stevia or 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped nuts
  • In a small bowl, mix meals, sugar, nuts, and set aside
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan
  • Add cocoa and stir until smooth, Turn off heat.
  • Add eggs to cocoa mixture, one at a time and stir
  • Add dry ingredients and stir until mixed

Spread evenly in a greased 9×13″ pan; Bake  for 20-25 minutes (Do not over bake)

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You are amazing, just the way you are…

So go the lyrics of a popular song.

A friend recently sent me a moving piece about body image (that is fittingly captured in the lyrics, by the way.)

Blue Bear the mermaidA flyer posted outside a gym asked, “Would you rather be a mermaid or a whale?”

A real woman responded by commenting on how whales are surrounded by family and friends, they are tender with children, travel far, sing beautifully, and are loved by many.

A mermaid  on the other hand, does not exist but if it did it would be sad and lonely and probably need therapy to resolve its split personality issues. (“Woman or fish?”)  

After concluding that she would rather be a whale, the writer ended by saying:

“We women gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies. We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated. Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?!”

This piece and the accompanying photo of a beautiful, voluptuous woman, got me thinking about how warped the American idea of beauty is.

In Mexico, I feel so much more beautiful. Perhaps, because of all the walking I do to get from here to there every day, I am a few pounds lighter, or at least trimmer, my skin definitely glows, and since the food is fresh, there are fewer additives and preservatives to cause me to bloat; but it is more than physical.

Those few pounds really do not make the difference in how I feel. It is the attitude of everyone around me — whatever size or shape you are, however old or young, you are you and you are fine (wonderful, beautiful, marvelous, fantastic, amazing…) just the way you are. There is no better or more beautiful way to live.

Blue Bear on stairs

It may not be easy being blue, but I am happy just the way I am.

So, cultivate being the amazing and beautiful person that you are, inside and out.

For the love of chocolate

Mente Chocolate signA short walk from the Jardin in San Miguel de Allende, is a chocolate lovers paradise.  Mente Cacao (mente means mind or intellect not mint), is run by Eduardo and Andreas, connoisseurs of fine cacao.  Notice I did not say cocoa, for what they have to offer is much more sublime that your average cocoa or chocolate bar.

Eduardo’s family grows the cacao, harvests the beans at the peak of perfection, and grinds them by hand extracting all the wonderful healthy properties of the bean.

They mix three different formulas, sweet,  semi-sweet, and dark (80%) and serve up the finest hot chocolate  that you will find anywhere. With a little cream and raw cocoa nibs on top — it’s pure decadence!!!

img_6330-qprIf hot chocolate is not your cup of “tea” try a blackberry pastry drizzled in hot chocolate, handmade gourmet chocolates with ingredients like citrus peel, dried fruit, nuts, or even chili; if you have never tried chocolate with chili – it is a taste sensation. To keep your chocolate addiction at bay, take home some bars of the sweet chocolate goodness.

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Next time you are in downtown San Miguel de Allende, stop by the chocolateria, on Zacateros near Umaran and savor a little deliciousness.

Be sure to tell them Blue Bear sent you.

Let the sun shine

Currently I live on the top floor of a house, on a hill in Taxco. When I open my eyes in  the morning I look over the top of the city and beyond to the mountains, where every morning the sun comes up to greet me.

Sunrise over Taxco, Mexico

Since winter is the dry season in Mexico, that usually means the sky turns from deep indigo, to violet to shades of  magenta, coral, pink and peach, in layers sort of like a sand sculpture or those gelatin cups they sell everywhere here (Mexicans love their gelatin).

Days are clear and bright with azure blue skies occasionally dotted with a few white puffy clouds.

Imagine my surprise and wonder when I opened my eyes and saw this.

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He certainly knows how to paint a beautiful sky. I just love how the beauty changes minute by minute.